Can dreams come true? This week, I had the opportunity to find out for myself.
As Vice President of Administration & Human Resources at Dixon Ticonderoga Company I was flattered yet a bit apprehensive when Dixon’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Gomez, asked me to write a guest post. I wasn’t quite sure I would be able to describe my feelings about an experience that had touched my heart. However, I was surprised to see that as soon as I started typing I was able to relive those moments vividly.
Earlier this week, Akerman LLP, a leading law firm, and Dixon Ticonderoga Company partnered to donate backpacks filled with high-quality school supplies to West Riviera Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Fla. I had the privilege to stand with Akerman staff to distribute 736 backpacks in one day! I was touched by all the high fives and tight hugs I received from the young children. It was amazing to hear the shouts of excitement from the students when they saw their very own backpack stuffed with their favorite packs of Ticonderoga Pencils and products.
While I was on the road driving back up to Orlando from West Palm, all I could think about was the little girl that tapped me on my leg and stated with a soft voice, “Thank you, ma’am. I really appreciate it”.
Thank you, Akerman. Your generosity touched the lives of many young children. Your team deserves all the credit.
If you or your company is interested in being a part of a day of giving backpacks to students and making dreams come true, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Lillian Gonzalez
About six years ago, a group of charming women from Charleston, South Carolina, decided that too many children in their tri-county school system did not have the basic school supplies needed to learn in their classrooms. They found this situation to be intolerable and decided to do something about it. And do something they did!
Flash forward to November 2013 when I had the pleasure of meeting these lovely and dedicated women when they invited me to speak to them at a breakfast meeting. As the founders of Charleston’s “Teachers’ Supply Closet”, they now provide free school supplies to 34 schools! But is that enough? They’ve decided to increase their reach to provide even more free school supplies to 1,200 teachers and 24,000 students. Supplies such as pencils, pens, paper, art markers, notebooks, rulers – you name it – if it’s needed in a classroom, they strive tirelessly to provide it. Working in partnership with businesses and individuals, these determined women have streamlined the process to ensure that 95 cents of every dollar donated to the Teachers’ Supply Closet goes directly to supporting teachers and students according to a 2013 independent audit.
Teachers Supply Closet depends on organizations like the Kids In Need Foundation and Dixon Ticonderoga Company to keep supplies handy to educate America’s next generation. Since 2009, Dixon has donated more than $4.9 million to KINF. We will continue to do so, and I strongly encourage you to join us.
Let’s do the math. One idea + one group of dedicated community volunteers = free school supplies for 24,000 students. Help them out! We do. And we’ll continue to do so via one of America’s greatest non-profit organizations, the Kids In Need Foundation.
If you laid 13 million pencils end to end, they would extend more than 1,436 miles worth of pencils. How do I know this? That’s how many pencils Dixon Ticonderoga Company has donated in the past five years. I am on a quest to donate the number of pencils required to reach from coast to coast.
Over the course of the last five years, Dixon Ticonderoga Company has donated more than $4 million worth of product to Kids In Need Foundation Resource Centers across the country.
Last week, we sent another donation with one million Ticonderoga pencils to Kids In Need. The Kids In Need Foundation is dedicated to providing high quality school supplies to underfunded teachers and students in low income areas nationwide, and so am I. That’s 6 out of 10 Teachers across America!
Our annual Kids In Need Donations have become an important event at Dixon Ticonderoga Company. On September 25, 2013 Kids In Need celebrated 15 years of service since its start. As the CEO of some of the finest people I have ever worked with in my career, I was very humbled that they recognized Dixon as one of the Top 15 KINF supporters over that time period. As their chosen National Pencil Sponsor, I can tell you the honor was all mine to support the Kids In Need team across the USA. They are making such a difference, so our giving nature in Dixon really comes easy when it comes to KINF. Teachers Rock and so do you KINF!
Dixon Ticonderoga Company had a great time tipping off the new school year with the Orlando Magic at their Back-To-School bash. We, along with former Magic players Bo Outlaw and Nick Anderson, handed out more than 2,100 backpacks to children in need. All the backpacks were donated through our backpack program, and were jam packed with school supplies that will be much needed in the coming school year.
More than 200 elementary and middle school students participated in activities and games hosted by the Orlando Magic.
Click here to email us for more information about how to donate school supplies to children in need. Children, teachers and schools need supplies all year long, so don’t think that it’s too late.
Check out these awesome pictures from the fun event below!